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Dead Space is an immersive horror experience

by Michael Ian

If you’ve been dismayed at the lack of scary games for your Android device, then count yourself lucky. Electronic Arts has finally brought their massively popular space themed horror fest, Dead Space, to Android and it aims to scare till you’re blue in the face. While you shouldn’t expect the same suspenseful graphics and atmosphere from your 42-inch flatscreen, it’s safe to say that EA games have perfectly captured the same shock and awe as its console brethren.

If you’re not well versed in the Dead Space lore, fear not. Taking place approximately three years after the console original, you’re placed in the iron clad shoes of protagonist Vandal. As an agent of the mysterious Church of Unitology, you’re sent on a simple mission to disrupt some power supply units of a ship. Everything goes well until, of course, everything goes to hell... Without giving away the entire plot, a hoard of disfigured devilish creatures, called necromorphs, begin to overrun the ship and you’re left to fend for yourself. If you’ve played the console games, you can expect this mobile version to flesh-out some more information on the Dead Space universe.

Tossing the conventional virtual joystick aside, EA has opted for a more intuitive control scheme. Your average onscreen controls are gone and the lack of a constant overlay of icons keeps the action front and center. Moving Vandal is easy, the left side of the screen is dedicated to movement while the right is for the camera. It conjures up the tank control of past games but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be dismembering necromorphs in no time.

Speaking of dismembering, the graphics in Dead Space are beautifully gritty in all their guts and glory. This is made more evident by the cringe-worthy close-ups of the necromorphs. The environment is a creature all of its own as well. A number of dark corners litter many areas, keeping you guessing if they harbor any creatures. One minor but aesthetically pleasing detail they added from the console version: the blue glow running down Vandal’s spine, which also acts as your health meter, creates a great contrast against the dark corners of the ship.

While EA has done a fine job bringing the same suspenseful environment as the console version, your experience will vary depending on your physical location. You won’t get the same thrill when you’re sitting in the laundromat waiting for your clothes to dry as, say, all alone in a dark room. EA acknowledges this and advises you to wear headphones at the start of the game.

If you’re looking for a thrilling and suspenseful game, look no further than Dead Space. With its eerie environment and startling gameplay, it’s a perfect gateway to the Dead Space universe, and just a great game overall. Grab a copy, charge your device, dim the lights, grab a pair of headphones and fasten your seatbelts. You never know what will makes its way around the corner.

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